Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

It was one of those chilly and rainy weekends that you actually appreciate. Normally I’d let gray weather rain on my parade (literally), but I soaked it all in. Also quite literally! It was nothing but smiles the past few days because it finally feels and looks like fall outside. And even a little rain won’t take that away.

My parents came to visit, I did some recipe testing, caught up with a few friends, pumpkin crumb cake muffins made an appearance, and packed for my trip this week. Guess what? I’m on my way to Phoenix right now! (Where I hear it totally does not feel like east coast fall.) I’ll be there for a couple business meetings and I’ll also be shooting some promo video material for the big paperback release. It will be a busy week, but I’m thrilled to be on my way. Never been! Any must sees or must eats? Emphasis on that last one. Tell me tell me tell me!

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

Here’s one of the recipes I played around with before I left. I know I’m not alone when I say I looooooove apple desserts. Here’s hoping you use that many o’s as well. Apple is very much overshadowed by pumpkin this time of year. I understand I’m completely guilty of this as I throw pumpkin muffins and cookies at you all day long, but ya know what? There’s room for everyone at the fall table. And I’m sorry for throwing muffins and cookies at you.

These apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies have climbed to the tippy top of my favorite cookie list. How unpredictable. I got this recipe idea from all of you. Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten several requests for chewy oatmeal cookies packed with chunks of real apples and apple spice flavor. (YUM!) But to be honest– I’ve never had luck with them. My apple oatmeal cookies always turn out a little dry and cakey, though the flavor usually seems to be on point. And looking back, I know now that it was mostly a ratio thing; not enough oats, too much flour and applesauce etc.

So I revisited things and here’s what to love about today’s cookies:

  • Chewy with crisp edges
  • Soft and moist centers
  • Flavorful, spiced, and chunky
  • Pretty. Look at that gorgeous maple icing. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

overhead image of dry ingredients in a glass bowl and wet ingredients in a glass bowl with a whisk

Some science for you! (Sorry, it’s Monday)

These are quick and easy. The first ingredient is melted butter, not too hot and not too cool. Too hot and the dough and cookies will become an oily puddle (albeit delicious) mess. Too cool and your cookies will taste a little too cakey. So what I always do is melt the butter and set it aside for 10 minutes as I prep the rest of the ingredients. It’s still warm, but not piping hot.

Next = sugars. I like to use dark brown sugar in recipes this time of year though light or dark are equally delish. You’ll scarf them down no matter which you use! For extra apple flavor, whisk in some applesauce. I recommend using unsweetened applesauce. I find the apple flavor is much more pronounced when there isn’t a bunch of added sugar in its way.

Applesauce can usually make cookies taste a little rubbery, but the melted butter will keep the chewy texture in check.

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookie batter in a glass bowl

You can leave out the walnuts if they’re not your thing! ↑ ↑

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies on a silpat baking mat on a baking sheet before baking

For the apple chunks, make sure they’re pretty small. There’s only 1/2 cup of apple chunks– you can probably get away with 2/3 cup, but any more than that will lend too much moisture. Between those and the applesauce, there’s still plenty of flavor. We’ll also add lots of cinnamon and apple pie spice, if you have it. If you don’t have any, just use a little extra cinnamon.

More oats than flour = chewier cookie. You’ll need 2 cups of whole oats and only 1 cup of flour. The oats will soak up a lot of the moisture if you let the cookie dough sit for too long. This isn’t a bad thing, but I find the centers are much softer. You’ll get a better cookie if you bake them right away (impatience wins today). Though I will say the cookies have 50x more flavor the next day if you can actually wait!!

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies on a baking sheet

I wasn’t going to top these with any sort of glaze or icing, but then I remembered HELLO maple icing and the rest was history.

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

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apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These soft and chewy apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies have crisp edges and tons of flavor!


  • 2 cups (170g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (or an extra tsp cinnamon)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup (90g) unsweetened applesauce*
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark or light brown sugar (I prefer dark here)
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely diced apple (about 1/2 of a large apple)
  • optional: 1/2 cup (63g) chopped walnuts

Maple Icing

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180gconfectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk


  1. Some readers have found that these cookies spread a little too much without chilling the cookie dough first– I haven’t run into that problem, but feel free to chill this cookie dough for 1-2 hours after step 4–before rolling and baking. Enjoy!
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  3. Whisk the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and apple pie spice (if using) together in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the butter, applesauce, brown sugar, and white sugar together until combined. Then whisk in the egg and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Fold in the apples and walnuts. The cookie dough will be thick and sticky.
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls (about 2 Tbsp of dough each) and place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the balls out– see picture above– as the cookies won’t spread much unless you help out first!
  6. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned and set on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before icing.
  7. Make the icing: Whisk all of the ingredients together and drizzle over cookies. You may have a little icing leftover. Drizzle more on each… it’s so good!


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Iced cookies stay fresh covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Their flavor is even better on day 2! You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls |Apple Peeler | Measuring Cups | Cookie Scoop | Silpat Baking Mat | Baking Sheet
  3. Applesauce: Make sure you are using a thick applesauce. Anything too liquid-y could cause excess spreading.

Keywords: apple cinnamon cookies, apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies


  1. These cookies are delicious! Made two batches and for the 2nd batch, We added 3/4 cup of raisins to the dough. They were great! Thanks for the recipe Sally

  2. Made these today and they are just excellent. Probably the best cookie I have ever made. A big hit with the family.

  3. Can you sub the brown sugar with coconut sugar?

  4. Flavor is there, but man oh man did these spread. I even chilled the dough. The flavor is there that we ate them anyways. Going to up my dry ingredients a bit more for second batch.

    1. You can also try a different brand of apple sauce, the one you used might’ve been too runny.

  5. I wanted to use up cooking apples from my garden so this recipe looked great. We don’t like things too sweet so I put 150g Demerara sugar (the only sugar I had in) and 100g ground almonds. I added some chopped pecans and they are oops ….. were scrumptious .

  6. Love the recipe, thank you, I made these tonight- wondering how I can do better next time because mine spread so thin that they were hard to pick up without breaking – the flavor was AMAZING though. How can I make them thicker next time ?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tabarik, You can chill this cookie dough for 1-2 hours after step 4–before rolling and baking, which should help if they are spreading. A few more tips are to make sure that your butter has slightly cooled before using (if it’s too hot the cookies will spread) and that you are not using a super thin/watery applesauce. Thank you for trying this recipe!

  7. Made’em today for The Boss to take on the road as a snack. Pretty darned good, Sally! Used homemade applesauce so had to up the oats as batter was bit too thin. Also added 1/4 tsp allspice to 11/2 tsp cinnamon. Thanks for this great cookie!

  8. I did it and just add y bit ok chocolate chips … they are so good ! Thank you !

  9. Sharon K Roodhuyzen says:

    Super flavorful and simple to make. I used Sally’s recommendations to let butter cool and to chill the dough before baking. They did not spread too much. My family was very happy with them, will make them again!

  10. Hi Sally! Is there a substitute for applesauce?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tin, You can try a ripe mashed banana, or canned pumpkin if you wish. Or you can even make your own applesauce by simply cooking some peeled and sliced apples on the stove until they are soft enough to mash.

  11. Hi, just wondering if you happen to have a recipe book all on Cinnamon??
    Cookies, cakes, breads and bars. I love Cinnamon.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cindy, Sally has published three books which you can find on our home page!
      Using the blue search bar at the top of this page, you can search this website by ingredient if you wish. For example, here are all of our recipe that use cinnamon.

  12. Nancy Mcleary says:

    Hi Sally
    Well, I agree, this cookie is fantastic!!!
    I just finished cleaning up after baking these for the first time.
    I prefer smaller cookies so I used only one tablespoon. The best baking time, after varying the times for the first three batches, turned out to be 12 1/2 minutes,not to be too exact or anything!
    They are so delicious Sally! Thanks for your always successful recipes! I used Trader Joe’s unsweetened apple sauce. It is quite thick. My cookies did not over spread at all.

  13. Mary Ann Robinson says:

    Do you think these would then last in a air tight tin mailed to Florida from NY.

  14. Adriana Guzman says:

    I used gluten free flour, apple and
    Pear, and only brown sugar. These are delicious. I did not need the icing. Would using an a vegan egg substitute and vegan butter change the consistency. They came out like tasty little oatmeal cakes. Yum!

  15. Dear Sally,

    Whenever I make cookies, they always end up with grains of sugar left undissolved, no matter how long I mix. How can I avoid this?

    1. In fact, do you think I could omit sugar entirely and replace it with honey?

    2. Hi Jenna, are you using a coarse sugar? Make sure you’re using granulated sugar. You can even try pulsing it in a food processor a few times to break down the crystals even more, which would make a superfine sugar.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally